Ausgrid, Enel & SSEN Distribution Scotland Join Hands with Oxford University to Launch Platform, Boost Global Smart-Grid Transition

Ausgrid, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution and the Enel Group have collaborated with the University of Oxford to launch a global knowledge-sharing platform connecting electricity networks and community energy groups across the world

A view of Enel's electric buses. Credit: Enel website

A view of Enel’s electric buses. Credit: Enel website

Ausgrid, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution and the Enel Group have collaborated with the University of Oxford to launch a global knowledge-sharing platform connecting electricity networks and community energy groups across the world. It is called the International Community for Local Smart Grids (ICLSG). The ICLSG will be launched at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) on 2 November, 2021.

Realising global climate targets will require a fundamental shift in how homes are heated and cooled, how journeys are powered, and how communities interact with the energy system that serves them. To support this shift, electricity networks are investing and innovating to deliver smart grids to support households using, generating, and altering their energy usage to save money, reduce their carbon footprint and support energy system resilience.

Richard Gross, CEO of Ausgrid, said: “Transitioning customers to net zero through use of Smart Grids allows technologies like solar PV, community batteries, or electric vehicles to be used in a coordinated, sustainable and affordable way.”

Community energy groups will also play a critical role in the partnership, guiding and informing discussions to ensure the challenges and opportunities discussed reflect lived experience. The successful delivery of smart grids hinges on the ability of households and businesses to participate.

Japan’s TEPCO Power Grid is the first Network Partner to join the ICLSG, demonstrating the partnership is global in breadth and local in focus. Enel Group is taking part in the initiative through research partner the Enel Foundation. Antonio Cammisecra, Head of Enel Global Infrastructure and Networks, said, “Reliable and flexible smart grids are key to accelerating the energy transition, as they play a central role in contributing to the decarbonisation and electrification targets needed to achieve a net-zero future.”

This partnership will facilitate the sharing of key learnings, while the University of Oxford will undertake original research into shared challenges and opportunities in delivering net zero locally.

Professor Malcolm McCulloch, University of Oxford, said, “Communities and distribution networks are the unsung heroes of the decarbonization challenge. Most of the difficult challenges in decarbonising mobility, heating and increasing cooling requirements are addressed by these groups. Oxford University is excited to be able to bring together a global partnership focused on sharing the learnings and best practices in providing a smart, resilient and just transition.”
discussion on best practices.

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